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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  July 29, 2009 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

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what do you think? guest: right now there are no official travel precautions or advisories against traveling to england or great britain in general. it certainly is true that it looks like great britain is a country that is being strongly hit by this h1n1 outbreak, particularly at this point in time. but again, the number of cases are large but are spread out across the country. if so, the best advice would be, there is no reason right now to cancel vacation that has already been planned, but certainly i would check with the local health authorities to see what the diagnosis is in terms of the number of cases, where your daughter and grandchildren are planning on staying, and to practice general public health precautions in terms of not coming into contact with sick people and trying to minimize your exposure to public places where large numbers of people are present.
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host: dr. andrew pekosz is a social professor at the johns hopkins bloomberg school of public health. thank you for being with us. you can tune into " washington journal" tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. now we will take you to the floor of the house of representatives. . [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., july 29, 2009. i hereby appoint the honorable jesse l. jackson jr. to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, nancy pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered the guest chaplain, reverend jonathan fallwell, thomas road baptist church, lynchburg, virginia. the chaplain: heavenly father, we thank you for our great nation. we thank you for what you have done to make this house a lighthouse to the world and a beacon of hope to people everywhere. we know as the founding fathers knew, sin is an approach to any people. and so today we ask you for the since we as a nation have committed. today we seek your wisdom and guidance and all that takes place in this room.
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we ask you to be a lamp to our path. we ask you to protect the men and women who serve in this house. we ask you to protect the men and women who serve around the world and in harm's way. we ask you to continue to bless this great land that we call home and in jesus name we pray, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from illinois, congressman shimkus. mr. shimkus: will our guests in the gallery please join us in the pledge? i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from virginia,
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congressman goodlatte, is recognized for one minute. mr. goodlatte: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, it is a real honor today to welcome our guest chaplain, the reverend jonathan fallwell, the senior pastor of thomas road baptist church in lynchburg, virginia, one of the largest churches in america which has a tremendous outreach to the community in lynchburg but across virginia and across our nation and indeed across the world helping people in need. he also serves as the senior pastor -- he also serves as the executive vice president of spiritual affairs at liberty university, the world's largest evangelical christian university with over 40,000 students both on campus and online. i very much welcome not only reverend fallwell but his entire family who is with us in the gallery today, and we are delighted that they could be with us to share in a full day
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of activities here at the united states capitol and to meet as many members of the house and staff members and others who work so hard here on behalf of our country. i hope members will take the opportunity to come by and say hello to him at the very various places he'll be during the course of the day. i'm honored to call reverend fallwell a constituent and most importantly a dear friend. i offer the thanks of this entire body to him for offering this morning's prayer. he's joined by his wife, sherry, as well as their four children, jonathan, jesse, nicholas and also his mother. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to 15 further one-minute requests on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? kucinich -- mr. kucinich: i ask unanimous consent to address the house
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for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. kucinich: let me tell you about a bright high-spirited woman who sacrificed for her family and her nation. instead of going to college, she helped the war effort working in manufacturing during the day and singing for the u.s.o. at night. she met a young marine combat veteran, fell in love, married, nursed her war-injured husband back to health and had a family. she and her husband never owned a home. the family was forced to move from place to place. in the first 20 years of their marriage, the family lived in 21 different places, including a couple of cars. despite her own economic hardship and illnesses, she taught her kids to read in preschool years, taught her children to love god, to be strong of heart, always to be grateful, to be kind, honest, respect others and never to quit. her name was virginia, and she was my mother, and today would have been her 85th birthday. happy birthday, mom.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? mr. shimkus: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. speaker. as we spin in circles here on health care, let's not forget the failed policy of a national energy tax or cap and trade. these coal miners lost their jobs the last time we passed environmental laws, and with their jobs went their health care benefits. i've always said that cap and tax is a direct attack on coal by the environmental left. if you don't believe me, yesterday's article said, sierra club opposes transmission line to link a.e.p. to allow coal fire plants. on the grounds it would increase coal use. i also say that cap and tax will not work especially if india and china do not comply.
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we have letter from the intergovernmental panel on climate change from russia. he says india will continue to use coal to meet the energy plans. and then finally, the science of climate change is not exact and not conclusive. channel 2, cbs, chicago says that chicago sees coldest july in 67 years. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. if you wonder why health care reform is so hard, look at the rhetoric surrounding efforts to help senior citizens and their families cope with end of life decisions. it has more ofed it -- morphed into something that i think is rather sad. i was angry and put off in reference to section 1233 today in "the washington times," they cite a misrepresentation by republican leadership at that
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-- that talks about the government-encouraged euthanasia. we heard one of our republican colleagues talk about actually having the government -- i want to be careful about this -- that seniors being in a position of put to death by their government. mr. speaker, looking at this legislation, it is the result of a bipartisan effort to allow senior citizens and their families to know the choices that face them. nothing mandatory, no government bureaucrat, simply giving them the choice to have formation. shame on people who use senior citizens as a prop to try and scare people. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, as democrats push for a government takeover of health care, i hope they will abide by a very simple standard. if a government-run health plan is good enough for the american people, it's good enough for congress. during consideration of the over 1,000-page bill in the education and labor committee, i successfully got an amendment passed that would provide that congress members who vote in favor of government-run health care to enroll in the plan themselves. the american people should monitor that this profession is kept in the bill. i -- provision is kept in the bill. i want to congratulate john fleming. i urge my colleagues to adopt this standard if they insist in dragging a big government bureaucracy between patients and doctors. the american people deserve better to protect jobs. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute.
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mr. schrader: thank you, mr. speaker. i came to the floor today to talk about 145 teaching jobs that was saved by one community school district alone. today i'd like to talk about jobs that are being created and saved by oregon's first responders. mr. speaker, just yesterday the first wave of cops grants were announced. that means 21 more police officers patrolling our streets in oregon. thanks to the recovery act. a number of those are in oregon city, a city i know very closely who desperately needs the assistance for an understaffed police department. these are 21 first responders that would not have been on the job again without this recovery package. the department of corrections received $103 million to save guard positions and preventing the release of oregon's prisoners. these are just a few examples of more announcements on the way. burn grants to help them
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investigate criminals and provide youth programs. the recovery act is working. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? mr. wolf: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wolf: thank you, mr. speaker. in monday's "wall street journal" secretary of state hillary clinton and the secretary treasury geithner co-authored an opinion piece outlining the issues to be discussed in u.s.-china strategic economic dialogue. no mention of human rights, no mention of the chinese government's suppression of journalists, no mention of the dozens of human rights lawyers across china who have been stripped of their licenses, no mention of the 35 catholic bishops that languish in chinese prisons and slave labor camps, no mention of the crackdown on the uighurs, no mention on repatrioting refugees. human rights cannot be separated from economic policy. the obama administration has missed yet another opportunity
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to make human rights a fundamental component of u.s. foreign policy. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. maloney: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. speaker. the joint economic committee just concluded a hearing highlighting a g.a.o. report that analyzed the performance of subprime loans in all 435 congressional districts, as this map illustrates. this report that i requested provides a sobering snapshot of the ongoing foreclosure crisis inherited by the obama administration. the dark red is where there are high incidents of foreclosure. so we see that california, florida and nevada are the places where the most nonprime loans were originated with
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nauks prepayment penalties -- noxius prepayment penalties. the end results was obvious. it identified the actions that the administration and congress have taken to reduce foreclosure rates and prevent a future recurrence. the report is online by congressional district with the hearing website at the g.a.c. website, www.jac.senate.gov. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? -- louisiana rise? mr. fleming: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. fleming: thank you, mr. speaker. recently, the president said in a speech, folks are skeptical and that is entirely legitimate because they haven't seen a lot of laws coming out of washington that help. that is an understatement.
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americans have found themselves at the mercy of the mass social agenda this administration and the liberal congress -- the liberal leadership in congress. first, it was the $750 billion stimulus bill that created nor saved any jobs. then came cap and tax. both of those bills passed after minutes it came out without being read. but this health care bill, h.r. 3200, is the mother of all bad bills. and seeks to recast america as a new socialist state. if it pass as in its current form, we can expect tax increases for all american families, waiting lines with d.m.v.-style medicine, an explosion of taxpayer-funded abortions and a lack of good health care for the elderly. republicans are urging democrats to finally reach across the aisle and work with republicans for a change. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from the virgin islands rise?
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mrs. christensen: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. christensen: i want to talk about something republicans and democrats care about, paying for health care reform. there's evidence it will produce hundreds of billions of dollars of savings, we could get a return of 5.6 times on every dollar spent. another report will show we have saved $652 billion over 10 years by getting individual to medicare healthier and reducing advancing disease. c.b.o. will score prevention if we get them reliable data. let's cover the territories and not cut important programs out of the bill. let's score prevention and pass a bill that honors health care as a right and reestablishing the united states as the leader we ought to be. the speaker pro tempore: for
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what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> the president has appointed 32 czars in the federal bureaucracy. i'm concerned about the new science czar. john holden detailed and advocated draconian population control methods in a textbook he coed ited. he said some countries may have to resort to them unless current trends in birth rates are change thasmede go on to say that a program to give fathers of large families vasectomy could have been successful with help from the larger countries. this is the same man who has the ear of the president on
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some of the most important decisions of the day. clearly we need to watch the office of the science czar carefully with an eye to whether dr. holden will promote policy this is a maintain our liberties or that call for the heavy hand of government in our private lives. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> this is our year for health insurance reform. the health insurance industry has reaped large profits over the last nine years, while americans' wagesave barely increased at all 30678% of the $1.8 trillion in premiums pays overhead cost, salaries, administrative, lobbying, and profits, rather than health care. americans cannot afford that waste of scarce dollars. our health reform legislation will limit such overhead
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spending to no more than 15%. we have to refocus our priorities on the quality of health care itself. for example, the diabetes epidemic demonstrates dramatically how critical preventive medicine is to america's children. 1/3 of all children born this decade are expected to develop diabetes in their lifetime. prevention of diabetes will make america healthier and avoid the enormous future cost of diabetes treatment. now is the time to act on health care reform. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? >> request per noigs address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, our republican friends, perhaps in wish a bit of wishful thinking, are trying to convince the american people that the american recory act has been a failure. they'll have a hard time convincing the people in my home district of louisville,
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kentucky, where home sale have risen due to the home buyers credit we put in the act. they'll have trouble convincing people in g.e. pamplet where they're bringing jobs back from china to kentucky to introduce a revolutionary water heater and they'll have trouble convincing my constituents who have their paychecks increased because of the $300 billion in tax cuts that were part of that act. the recovery act is far from a failure, it's succeeding to rebuild the economy of this country. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> families in america deserve a health care system that works. a parent should not have to worry about paying for high health care insurance premiums or putting food on the table or paying their mortgages. each year, in my district, 5 2,00 seniors will hit the
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doughnut hole and are forced to pay their full drug, despite part d drug coverage this bill provides them with immediate relief by cutting brand names drug costs in the doughnut hole by 50%. the tricommittee bill caps out of pocket costs at $10,000 per year, ensuring that no individual has to face financial ruin because of high health care costs. for these reasons, i stand here to advocate for american families who are struggling never corner. i urge my colleagues to stand with me and support health care reform because this is not a political issue, this is a human issue. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute.
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>> mr. speaker, i rise today to highlight where some of the stimulus jobs are located. while some states refused stimulus money available, i want to acknowledge some areas using the stimulus funds to create jobs today. in my state of new jersey, the funding has gone to good jobs for new jersey workers this summer, 6,000 youth will be working under the new jersey youth work force investment act. 60 jobs have been created on transportation. at least 20 people are currently working on the housing improvement for wood bridge public housing authority. at least 62 people are working for the newark housing authority, including union workers to renovate vacant apartments and prepare for future construction. these are just a few projects. it's not just new jersey that's seeing jobs increase as a result of the stimulus funding. yesterday "the new york times" highlighted perry county, tennessee, where hundreds of layed off workers are once again back to work since
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deciding to use the stimulus money to employ 00 jobs ranging from the state transportation to small businesses. the unemployment dropped from 27% to 22% in that county. that's where the jobs went. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from pennsylvania rise? the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. >> finding a uniquely american solution to make sure americans have access to affordable, meaningful health coverage must also include providers. keeping costly conditions from worsening. yet despite this essential role it is primary care where we face the most acute shortages. in 1998, the percentage of residents choosing primary care has dropped from 50% to 20%. by 2025, america will have a
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shortage of 46,000rimary care providers. i am very proud that the provisions in the health care reform legislation moving through congress will address this impending crisis. it provides scholarships and loan repayments for primary care providers, increases payment for primary care services, eliminates co-payments for medicare beneficiaries seeking care and creates incentives for doctors and nurses to coordinate care for patients with multiple chronic conditions. this will improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs. we should support better health care for americans by supporting health care reform. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new mexico rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i just held a round table in my district to hear from small business owners on how they feel about health care reform. each of the small businesses
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owners agreed the system is broken and that keep thinking status quo will only hurt small businesses in new mexico. with skyrocketing health care costs, many small businesses have been forced to consider layoffs or lowering wages. in some cases discontinuing insurance coverage for their employees is the only way to avoid going out of business. there's no doubt that our broken health care system is bad for america's small businesses. we can and must do better. we need a long-term, viable solution that creates stability, prevents insurance companies from cherry picking customers and businesses, supports a healthy work force and improves employee productivity. now is the time to reform our health care system, our small businesses cannot afford the status quo. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and eth revise and
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extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> the more we learn about the health care plan, the more we learn how bad it it is. the democrat bill creates a government-run health care plan that will ration care, remove choice and decrease the quality of health care for americans. the bill imposes not only an employer mandate on health benefits but creates a fleet of government auditors who will sail in to inspect every employer in the nation and make sure they meet a standard the democrats admit they haven't ascertained. the people will be taxed for the plan and an independent commissioner not accountable to anyone will have power over what will and will not be covered. everyone over age 65 will be required to have an end of life consultation with their
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physician and assess that every five years. democrats don't know why people would read a bill over 1,000 page, now we're learning why. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will receive a message. the messenger: a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the speaker pro tempore: i have been asked to inform the house that the senate has passed s.j.res. 19, making changes to the washington, d.c. transit regulation compact in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i hope the republicans on the other side of the aisle who don't want us to fix the health
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care system will listen to their constituents. a woman in connecticut contacted me about her system, she had a pulmonary bomalism and was told she was in danger of losing her leg, and the insurance company decided not to pay for the surgery because it was cosmetic. she lost her leg. the cost of our broken system can't be measured in just dollars and cents. we have a system that doesn't value keeping people healthy. we can change this by passing health care reform. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> think about it. the government-run health care. the argument being made by my friends on the other side is the only reason it hasn't worked everywhere it's been tried is because the right people aren't in charged. it has never worked anywhere. it doesn't work. an individual i represent was a
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doctor for 60 years in the united states and in canada. he holds two of the highest degrees in medicine he said it not only hurts the poor, it hurts the wealthy, it hurts everybody. if you want to ruin health care, have the government take it over. now the argument is, we'll just have the government come pete with the private sector. think about that. where does the government get the money? from you, the taxpayers. the private sector has to charge people to provide health care. there's no way in the world the private sector can compete with government when government is funded by unlimited amounts of money that they extort from you, the working people. if you want health care in this country to be quality and be good, there's nings we can do. but don't destroy it by turning it over to the government. the government does very few things well. in fact, my colleagues complained about the way the government handles wars. that's the one thing we can do in a quality fashion but government-run health care is not something we want to turn over to the government. i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. langevin: mr. speaker, as the congress is working to resolve our nation's health care crisis, i'd like to take a moment to read an excerpt of a constituent's letter which shows us why we're fighting for health care reform. daye congressman langevin, 10 years ago i was diagnosed with a brain tumor. as a single mother raising two children, i was nervous about supporting, clothing and putting a roof over my children's head. after my brain tumor was removed, i spent 30 days from the hospital. i lots my job. when i lost my job i lost my health benefits. pay my mortgage or cobra
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coverage, this is not something you have to choose from. mr. speaker, in fact, catastrophic illness or sdnts is one of the pleasing causes of bankruptcy in america and that shouldn't happen. we have an opportunity and an obligation to reform our health care system. we must not let our constituents down. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. polis: mr. speaker, health care reform is a single most important step we can take to help families and rebuild our economy. our health care is broken and only a comprehensive fix will help so many from financial sickness and financial insecurity. i want to share a story of a 56-year-old constituent in my district in colorado. like many americans, alicia moved away from her home to the
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united states legally. and like many americans, she paid into the system and like many americans, her employer doesn't provide health insurance. alicia can't afford the high prices quoted by private insurance companies. but when tragedy struck and she became seriously ill, like many americans, alicia went to the emergency room. by the time she was rushed into surgery her situation was so severe doctors removed a 10-pound tumor. thankfully she survived her surgery but is not 100% better. her salary, while too high to qualify for medicaid, is not near enough to cover the cost of her hospital stay. she can't afford costly medications and worries about pain and financial worries. we encourage my colleagues to join me to help alicia and millions of americans like her. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized for one minute. ms. speier thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to talk about rescission. and the health care reform bill will ban it. consumers who have paid their premiums on time for years are suddenly cut loose by their insurer because they have the audacity of getting ill. these are people with severe medical conditions who depend on their coverage. it can be devastating when the lifeline that they've paid for is suddenly yanked away. a woman recently addressed the congress about having an insurance policy canceled days before her mastectomy surgery. the reason she was told is because she didn't disclose on her application that she had suffered from acne. rescission is an inhumane and abusive practice. the good news is that rescission is outlawed in the house health care reform bill. never again should anyone have to worry that their insurance that they've paid for will be canceled if they get sick. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: who
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seeks recognition? >> i do, mr. speaker. i move the house suspend the rules -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass the house bill h.r. 3330. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3330, a bill to amend the federal deposit insurance act and the federal credit union act to provide more effective reviews of losses in the deposit insurance fund and the share insurance fund by the inspectors general of the several federal banking agencies and the national credit union administration board, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore:
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pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from kansas, mr. moore, and the gentleman from new york, mr. lee, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kansas. mr. moore: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on this legislation and to insert extraneous material thereon. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. moore: mr. speaker, i yield five minutes to the chief sponsor of this bipartisan legislation, a strong proponent in this congress for tougher oversight, the gentleman from ohio, mr. driehaus. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for five minutes. mr. driehaus: thank you very much, mr. speaker. and i want to thank the subcommittee chairman for all of his support in this legislation and also my colleague on the other side of the aisle, mr. lee from new york, for his tremendous support. this is simply a good government bill, mr. speaker. h.r. 3330 is about protecting financial institutions but providing efficiency, efficiency when it comes to the inspector generals. what we're dealing with today
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is material loss reviews. and right now we have a problem in the united states in that our inspectors general who are charged with conducting material loss reviews can't keep up with the number of financial institutions who are experiencing these losses. so we have been requested by the fdic to look at the threshold. and what this bill does is it increases the threshold. in the case of our financial institutions from $25 million in losses to $200 million in losses. and in the case of our credit unions from $10 million in losses to $25 million in losses. and if i might, mr. speaker, i would like to read briefly from a letter dated july 17, 2009, from john rhymer, the inspector general of the fdic. and in this letter he says as of today my office has conducted and completed nine material loss reviews under section 38-k of the federal deposit insurance act. we now have an additional 31
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reviews in the planning or production phase. we believe the numbers of reviews that will be required under the law as it presently exists will continue to grow significantly in the foreseeable future. we require that the inspectors general complete these reviews within six months. and right now given the threshold they simply don't have the ability to do that. so this is a good government measure. a good government measure without increasing spending, without increasing taxing we make government more efficient. and it's simply increasing the threshold to allow the inspectors general do their jobs while at the same time look at the smaller financial institutions if such reviews are warranted. so with that, mr. speaker, i yield back to the subcommittee chairman the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kansas reserves the balance of his time.
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the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. lee: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. lee: thank you. i want to applaud my colleague from ohio, mr. driehaus, for showing leadership on this very bipartisan bill that will have a very positive effect in helping to turn around a very important agency that provides oversight. i also want to thank the chairman of our oversight and investigation subcommittee, mr. moore, and our ranking member, mrs. biggert, for holding that hearing and helping this legislation come to the floor. the i.g. for treasury said we've either shut down or indefinitely deferred all critical audits and other treasury high-risk programs. as mr. driehaus pointed out, this is a significant problem. as a matter of comparison, treasury is currently conducting 16 m.l.r.'s. before 2007 the office had not conducted a review of this nature in almost five years.
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meanwhile, the i.g. for the federal reserve said that these reviews make up almost 40% of her workload. the fdic i.g. informed us that the 36 employees in his audit office are currently handling 20 reviews. at the end of the day, when you have these auditors focused sole on bank failures, that's time taken away from other aspects of this economic crisis, not to mention critical oversight areas like terrorist financing. the measure we are considering today, the improved oversight by financial inspectors general act raises the threshold from material loss reviews from $25 million to $200 million and from $10 million to $25 million for credit unions. this will help the inspectors general to hone in on the cases in need of most attention because it's through that work that we will find what actions need to be addressed to restore taxpayer and investor confidence in our financial
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systems. i also want to note that this legislation is crafted responsibly and that it takes steps forward to ensure fraud does not go undetected. so if the i.g.'s see a need to conduct a review below the threshold, there's no problem. and when fraud is suspected, they will be able to move forward. mr. speaker, it's an easy fix we can implement right now to lend our financial watchdogs a hand to provide them with the tools and resources they need to get the job done. i urge my colleagues to support adoption of this important bipartisan measure. and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from kansas is recognized. mr. moore: mr. speaker, i yield myself four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kansas is recognized for four minutes. mr. moore: thank you. as a former district attorney for 12 years and chairman of the house financial services oversight and investigation subcommittee, one of my
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priorities is to make sure that our inspectors general have all the tools and the resources they need to continue and improve their important oversight work. in january the i.g.'s for the treasury, fed and fdic wrote to request that congress raise the material loss review or m.l.r. threshold so they can focus on other high priority areas of potential waste, fraud and abuse. the national credit union administration i.g. later made a similar request, mr. chairman. in addition to a higher threshold, the i.g.'s requested that for banks falling below the threshold, an initial assessment still be taken so that unusual situations are not missed. during an o.n.i. hearing we had in may, i was disturbed that without an m.l.r. system the current system would limit the i.g.'s ability to effectively oversee many of the new programs and initiatives that the federal banking agencies are undertaking to address current economic conditions. we must address this problem. i commend congressman driehaus from ohio, a distinguished member of our oversight committee, for drafting a
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bipartisan bill that will do just that. i also thank our colleagues from the other side of the aisle, congressman lee from new york and congresswoman biggert from illinois for their hard work and support in troughing this bill. the improved oversight by financial inspectors general act will put in place a $200 million m.l.r. threshold for bank i.g.'s and $25 million for the credit union i.g. with new stronger protections that will ensure proper oversight is conducted of any failed institution that costs even $1. in a letter dated july 17, one commented on the bill in writing. quote, i believe this bill is a pruden compromise that will help our workload and preserve oversight by my office as well as other inspectors general tasked with similar reviews, end quote. and i couldn't agree more, mr. chairman. and i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 3330 to improve oversight of our financial agencies.
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i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kansas reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. lee: i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentlelady from the fine state of illinois. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois is recognized for three minutes. mrs. biggert: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in support of the improved oversight by financial inspectors general act of 2009. i'd like to thank my colleagues, mr. driehaus and mr. lee for introducing this bill, and thank the chairman of the oversight investigation subcommittee, mr. moore, for his work on this issue. h.r. 330 makes technical corrections that trigger inspectors general to launch an investigation in the failure of a financial institution. financial inspectors general must dedicate resources and personnel to investigate failures, like that of a.i.g., because their findings can present critical evidence about what caused the financial crises. congress, federal regulators and the administration can then better target reforms to our
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broken financial regulatory system. in may, the financial services committee on oversight and investigations held a hearing on the role of financial services inspectors general. we heard from inspectors general about their difficult task to tackle the waste, fraud and abuse that is at the heart of our financial crisis. fraud and abuse were two of many significant factors that contributed to the financial crisis, especially in chicago. in march, the u.s. attorney general in chicago, patrick fitzgerald, brought mortgage fraud indictments against two dozen players. they are brokers, accountants, loan officers, processors and attorneys. mortgage fraud comes in all shapes and sizes. scam artists inflate appraisals, flip properties and lie about information including income and identity on loan applications. some use the identity of deceased people to obtain mortgages, and other desperate thieves built out of their
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homes and home equity the most vulnerable homeowners and seniors in dire financial straits. to get the economy back on track and credit flowing again, we have to address what was at the root of the mortgage meltdown in the first place and that is mortgage fraud. inspector generals hold key positions to investigate mortgage fraud and get to the bottom of the turmoil that plagues today's financial markets. what went wrong? who broke the law? where were the laws enforced? were laws and regulations adequate? to restore confidence in our markets and address any failings in our system of regulation, including enforcement, we must determine the answer to these questions. the sooner we get to the root of these matters, the sooner we can get the financial institutions off the federal dole and our financial markets and economy back on track. h.r. 3330 will help us get there. i applaud all of the members
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who have work sod hard in this issue and urge my colleagues to support the bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois yields back. the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from kansas. mr. moore: i ask unanimous con sent that letters from the inspectors general o-- on these issues can be submitted for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. moore: i yield myself two minutes and invite the gentleman to join me for a colloquy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. moore: nothing in this requires the inspectors general to post reviews or reports online in three days. this is my understanding is that correct? mr. driehaus: the purpose of h.r. 3330 is to increase and improve oversight. congress and our constituents will continue to learn important information from
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these material loss review reports posted online within three days so we can better understand why financial institutions failed. my bill will not change that at all. mr. moore thank thank you for making that clear, congressman driehaus, thank you for the colloquy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. lee: i'd like to yield two minutes to my good friend from minnesota, mr. paulson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. paulson: it rise today in support of h. -- mr. paulsen: i rise today in support of h.r. 330. in the wake of the financial crisis it's important we make sure our federal banking supervisor resources are deploy wrd they're going to be the most effective. in the financial crisis and the increased number of bank failure this is a followed exposed outdated provisions in existing law that are placing
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onerous reporting requirements on the financial inspectors general. it's using precious time and diverting crucial resources system of this bill is going to update the standard first set 25 years ago that will trigger a material loss review for a failed financial institution. the financial inspectors general have assured us that this does not mean there will be insufficient review of failures in the future, but rather, there's going to be a smarter review concerning large bank failures and any small bank failure this is a occur, where there are special circumstances and that's something that can be learned. i encourage my colleagues to support this legislation. we need to put our focus on the where the inspectors general can be most effective to protect taxpayers and financial institutions, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from kansas. mr. moore: we have no further requests for time, we will let the other side close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. lee: this is a good, common sense, bipartisan bill and i urge i its passage. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kansas. mr. moore: i yield one minute to mr. driehaus to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. driehaus: i believe this is a good, common sense bill. this is about helping our inspectors general do their job and do it well. we've heard how important the work they are doing is to the health and safety of our financial institutions and to our financial system. i would encourage all my colleagues to support this good government piece of legislation. i thank them for their support and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the celt gentleman yields back.
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-- the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kansas. mr. moore: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: all time having been yielded back, the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3330. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and weather -- and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas rise? mr. moore: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2034. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. clip h.r. 2034 a bill to protect loans for rural housing and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kansas, mr.
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moore, and the gentleman from new york, mr. lee -- the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from kansas, mr. moore, and the gentlewoman from west virginia, mrs. capito, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kansas. mr. moore: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks on this legislation and insert extraneous material thereon. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. moore: i yield myself three minutes to the -- i yield three minutes to the chief sponsor of this important legislation, mr. clay of missouri. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. clay: as the sponsor of
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this measure, i am pleased to present h.r. 2034 for consideration by the house today. the current foreclosure crisis affects rural america as well as cities and suburbs. many rural areas are subject to additional complicating factors, such as a shortage of housing, counseling resources, and high poverty rates. nevertheless, homeowners with average incomes under $19,000 per year are 98.3% successful when serviced through the section 502 single family housing director guaranteed loan programs. the foreclosure rates in both of these programs is below 2% as compared to a 5% to 6% subprime foreclosure rate overall. under current law, rural families who obtained a mortgage from a private lender
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for the purpose of acquiring or constructing a single family residence are not permitted to refinance such loans through sections 502 rural housing guaranteed loan program. to address this issue, the bill would provide the secretary of agricultural with the authority to permit the refinancing of such loans through the section 502 rural housing guaranteed loan program. rural nam i -- rural families who meet current income and geographic criteria, would be eligible to refinance their private loan. as such this new authority will provide some much-needed relief to our rural housing community and complement efforts by the administration to stabilize communities by helping struggling homeowners stay in their homes. the rural housing service estimates that this new
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authority would significantly increase loan value under the section 502 guaranteed loan program. to address this issue, the bill includes a provision giving the secretary of agriculture the authority to charge a higher guarantee for more than -- fee than the 2% fee that is permitted under current law to help ensure that the expected increased loan volume does not require additional congressional appropriations. the higher fee would apply to private loans and could be no higher than as necessary to ensure that no appropriation is needed. consequently, the c.b.o. has indicated that bill is cost neutral. i commend chairman frank and subcommittee chairwoman waters for their leadership in bringing this bill to the floor. i urge all my colleagues to support the bill and yield back
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the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kansas reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from west virginia, mrs. capito is recognized. mrs. capito: i yield such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. capito: i rise in support, strong support, of h.r. 2034, the rural homeowners protection act of 2009. as my colleague has stated, the current foreclosure crisis affects rural america as well as cities and suburbs and many rural areas are subject to additional complicating factors such as high poverty rates. the section 502 rural housing guaranteed loan program is an important source of funding in rural areas for moderate income families wishing to purchase a home. as currently structured, the 502 program allows refinancing on current 502 loan bus not on
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loans obtained through private lenders. h.r. 2034 amends the single family loan guarantee program to allow refinancing of private rural loans through the section 502 program. to safeguard the program, the bill authorizes the secretary of agriculture to charge a higher fee for the reasons -- for financing private origination loans to ensure they can be guaranteed without additional cost to the government. this is an important change that will provide much-needed assistance in our rural communities. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 234, the rural homeowners protection act of 2009. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kansas. mr. lee: we have no further -- mr. moore: we have no further qugs for time and yield back to the other side to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kansas yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from west virginia. mrs. capito: i have no further speakers and yield back the
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balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2034. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas rise? mr. moore: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2529 as amended. the clerk: a bill to amend the federal deposit insurance act to lease foreclosed property held by such institutions and companies for up to five years and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from kansas plrning moore, and the gentleman from
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california, mr. miller, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kansas. mr. moore: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks on this legislation and to insert extraneous material thereon. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. moore: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. moore: i yield to mr. donnelly, the chief sponsor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. donnelly: i rise in strong support of h.r. 2529, the neighborhood preservation act. which i join my colleague from california, mr. miller, in introducing. this bill would amend the federal deposit insurance act to allow depository institutions like banks to temporarily lease a foreclosed property up to five years that fiscally responsible way to help mitigate the gadge of --
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damage of the housing crisis and doesn't cost the government any money. the president has recently spoken in support of this idea. we hope that banks will utilize this to mitigate damage to hard-hit communities and prioritize working with the foreclosed family first. my home state of indiana ranks 13th in the country for a number of foreclosures. our district has felt the pain of the economic downturn as many have lost jobs and struggled to make ends meet. like many americans, we have found ourselves unable to pay our mortgages and faced with foreclosure. that's what's happened to many families in our district. when a bank is forced to foreclose on a homemark people suffer. the family suffers as they are forced to find a new place to live and new schools for their children. one foreclosure can depress an entire neighborhood by decline thinking value of surrounding properties. in the depository institution that holds the mortgage no
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longer received payments on the home. h.r. 2529 would help minimize the impact of foreclosure by allowing depository institutions to rent the foreclosed property for up to five years to the previous owner or another owner. allowing the depository institutions to lease the foreclosed property gives families a chance to stay in the home and make payments as a renter until they have the means to become an owner again. it does so without adding any cost tour deficit. not only does this help provide some relief to the former homeowners, it helps preserve the economic values of surrounding homes in the neighborhood and it provides stability in the housing market. the number of foreclosed homes in the market has contributed to an oversfly of unoccupied homes. having a high number of unoccupied bank-owned homes
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negatively impacts whole communities and drive up crime as these vacant homes can become havens to squaters. there are 19 million vacant homes across the united states. that's up from 17.4 million only a few years ago. these homes present a number of safety concerns. by allowing a family reside as a renter they are able to care for the property and prevent further consequences. this is a temporary measure that can serve as a tool to keep the house off the already saturated work. i'd like to thank chairman frank and ranking member bachus for their support on this important piece of legislation. and i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2529. thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kansas reserves the balance of his time.
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the gentleman from california. mr. miller: yes. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the preservation act. i want to thank mr. donnelly for his support on this. this is supported by chairman frank and ranking member bachus of the house financial services committee. this amends the federal deposit other act to lease foreclosed properties up to five years. h.r. 2529 would provide a tool to address the current foreclosure crisis. today the american economy is suffering from a burden of houses for sale roughly at a 10-month supply. in some areas of the country distressed sales is 90% of the sales which is continuing to drive down home and neighboring values. in my district it represents
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76%, 50% of the homes in oranging. in fact, foreclosures have caused prices to decline in california alone by 30% in recent months. and they continue to be a problem. to address the inventory surplus and help stabilize the housing market, the neighborhood preservation act would allow a bank to temporarily, and i emphasize temporarily lease foreclosed properties. under the bill the prior homeowner would lease the property and could be given the option to buy back the home. by allowing the family to lease a property rather than abanned on the it -- abandon it. this legislation would also enable lenders to sell the property five years. and thereby potentially recover all or almost all of the losses. the neighborhood preservation act would not only reduce the number of houses being sold but preserve the physical condition of foreclosed properties which would help stabilize the value of neighborhoods and
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communities. this would minimize the negative impact on surrounding homes and neighborhoods that have given -- that have been impacted by the unrelenting foreclosed crisis. this bid would require the federal bank agencies to have minimum mum requirements for any financial institution, including minimum capital requirements and the agency determines to be appropriate for the preservation of the safety and soundness of the institution. the bill states that, quote, it is the intent of congress that no permanent change in policy on leasing foreclosed properties is being established with respect to the deposit other institutions and their holding companies. the purpose of this bill is to allow individuals the chance to stay in their homes during these hard times. mr. speaker, at no cost to packs mears, and i repeat, no cost to taxpayers will this bill help preserve the communities and props, provides more -- properties, provides nor stability in the market.
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at this time i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from kansas. mr. moore: mr. speaker, we have no further request for time so we'll let the other side close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. miller: thank you. in recent years there's been concerns about allowing banks to get involved in the real estate marketplace. specifically being involved in housing sales, housing transactions, other than pure lending practice. so before i went to this bill i went to all of the association to make sure that this was clearly a temporary bill. this bill has been endorsed by the national association of realtors which had a concern with banks being involved in real estate, national association of home builders and national association of mortgage brokers. this bill was discharged from committee without a hearing because the ranking member and the chairman both believed this bill could really have an impact on mitigating the impact of the sales. that's why this bill is on the
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floor. i ask for an aye vote and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kansas. mr. moore: mr. speaker, i have no further requests for time. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. and i yield one minute to the gentleman from indiana, mr. donnelly, to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for one minute. mr. donnelly: thank you, mr. speaker. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2529. this bill is a very, very positive step for the homeowners, for our neighborhoods as well and to help solve the problem of foreclosed homes in america. i urge their support. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kansas. mr. moore: i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: all time having been yielded back, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2529, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the
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affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from -- >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? mr. frank: i ask the house suspend the rules and pass h.r.
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3139. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. mr. frank: as amended. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman call up the bill as amended? mr. frank: as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3139, a bill to extend the authorization of the national flood insurance program, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. frank, and the gentlewoman from west virginia, mrs. capito, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. frank: and i want to acknowledge the great cooperation we have had on a bipartisan basis here, the gentlewoman from west virginia, and i. we have a flood insurance program. and it does some good but it's become somewhat controversial. there are members who would like to see it be extended. some of our colleagues from the gulf coast on both sides have talked about extending it to, for instance, other disasters
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and wind. there are members who believe that the way it works now it causes undue hardship without providing any serious protection. there are many others who believe, and i think would good argument, that it's time to look at the whole program and to examine -- and this is an example, mr. speaker, where two groups that are sometimes in debate on the same side and that is people concerned about excessive government expenditure and the environmental community. and it's certainly our goal to try and discourage people from building where they shouldn't. on the other hand, we have people who years ago in good faith built there and they cannot be exappropriated and shouldn't be. we what we have he -- we've decided on bipartisan basis with avenue a bill that's going to expire in september. as we know the committee on financial services, which has jurisdiction over this, has a fairly broad jurisdiction, including housing and, of
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course, the financial industry. we've been somewhat preoccupied with those other issues, more foreclosure, venture regulation. we have not had the time to do the thorough re-examination of flood insurance that it deserves. so what we have today is the result of an agreement is a six-month extension of the program essentially as is. there is one change, again, in a bipartisan way. the gentlewoman from california, ms. matsui and ms. speir and the gentlewoman from kansas, ms. jenkins, came to us and asked for a provision that they believe is important for their district and others that does no harm and provides some protection to them. with that inclusion, it will extend for six months. this will go across the rotunda and go to the u.s. senate. we hope they will enact it if not in the next couple of days
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but in september. when we come back in 2010 we will deal with this in a comprehensive way and do the kind of re-examination that it is called for. so that's exactly where we are. i note that the gentlewoman from california has joined us, the author of one of the provisions and i'll yield to her after the other side. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from west virginia, mrs. capito, is recognized. mrs. capito: thank you, mr. speaker. and i want to thank the chairman of the full committee, mr. frank, for his bipartisan way of approaching this particular issue. he's correct when he says we've gone back and forth on this i think almost a decade on a way to reform this program. we certainly want to see that. so i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for as much time as she may consume. mrs. capito: everyone should be in agreement that the national flood insurance program needs to be reform. it would be irresponsible and
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not good for many communities that the program expire at the end of september, 2009, without attempting to fix it. which is why we need to pass another short-term extension today. the national flood insurance program is carrying a debt of nearly $19 billion. primarily from property damage claims that were paid after the series of big storms that hit florida in 2004 and the gulf coast in 2005. according to the general accounting office, the nfip is underfunded by design because many property owners continue to receive subsidized property rates since the flood insurance rate mapping system went into effect in 1974. we need to deal with these issues and it's going to take bipartisan leadership on both sides, and i think we have that commitment to get it done. many of us believe it's time for congress to work toward encouraging more private insurance and reinsurance capacity to help protect at-risk communities and regions against the potential damages
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of flooding as well as other natural disasters. we are committed to pressing forward with reforms as soon as possible and urge others to join us in making this a bipartisan effort as well as a higher priority in this congress. in addition in supporting the need for a short-term flood insurance extension bill, i support a small but important technical change that would end the program's illogical and unwarranted discrimination against state and local funding of levee construction and improvement projects. i commend my friend, congresswoman matsui from sacramento, for her leadership and her thoughtful and constructive proposal. i also would like to salute congresswoman lynn jenkins of kansas, an active member of our committee, for lending her support. as i previously stated, i know that we have a great need for reform in this program and hopefully that will be our ultimate goal, but at the same time i think it's wise for this congress to extend this program for another six months as we would do in this legislation.
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i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from west virginia, mrs. capito, reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. frank. mr. frank: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the aforementioned gentlewoman from california, ms. matsui, the author of the amendment. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for three minutes. matty ott thank you. and i thank -- ms. matsui: thank you. i'd like to thank the gentleman for yielding me time. i'd like to thank chairman frank, congresswoman capito for their work to get here today. i'd like to thank fema for their technical guidance. this bill includes language from h.r. 1525 that i authored to provide technical changes to federal flood zone designations. this legislation makes a number of modifications to the national flood insurance act in order to give communities clarity to help them restore and improve their flood protection systems. from my hometown of sacramento to louisiana bayou to the plains of the midwest, communities are advancing flood protection infrastructure in
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order to keep americans safe and secure. however, as we work to conform to changing dynamics of flood protection, these communities are seeking clarity as to the -- as they work to meet federal regulations. public safety is my absolute number one priority, and during the last year that i worked with local, state and federal flood protection officials, that remains our priority. this bill will give communities clarity so they can continue to uphold public safety and promote proper protection. specifically, this legislation will update current law to take local, state and federal funding into account when determining designations. the city of sacramento and the state of california have devoted millions of dollars toward flood protection. that investment was simply will be recognized by the federal government. for my constituents, this is vital. fema needs to recognize what our state and city have contributed when they review the progress made on the levees in my district and determined the areas flood -- area's flood
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designation. this legislation helps communities understand requirements for a completed system. current regulations are vague on what a completed system actually is, and this is caused -- has caused great concern and confusion among local communities. this provision combines a public safety standard with a concrete milestone. protecting our constituents from the dangers of floods requires a comprehensive approach. local communities, states and the federal government must all be thoughtful and committed partners to achieve public safety. i am glad that the bill pfer us today -- before us today includes this commitment to give communities clear objectives as they work to improve flood protection infrastructure. with that i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from west virginia, mrs. capito. mrs. capito: i'd like to continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from
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massachusetts. mr. frank: i'd like to yield to ms. speir. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for two minutes. ms. speier: judging from my constituent they don't expect the federal government to come to their aid for every problem, but they don't expect us to stand in their way when they face loss of life and property. the massive flooding following hurricane katrina was a wakeup call for those of us who live along the coasts of oceans, bays, and rivers. there's hardly a spot in my district where you can't see water. currently, an advanced new levee system is being constructed to protect airs along san francisco bay. the residents voted to tax themselves to do it. this is how it should be, communities handling their issues themselves. but currently, fema only recognizes federally funded or managed projects so despite the
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fact that these levees are built to the exact same specifications, so until the project is completed, residents will be forced to pay higher flood insurance and they are forced to build on stilts. imagine putting homes on stilts in an earthquake area. it doesn't make sense. the levees are not the issue. these levees are being built to federal standards. the only reason that tens of thousands of hard working american wills have to pay thousands of dollars more in insurance and local builders will have to put the buildings on stilts is because the resident december sided to improve their levees without federal dollars. i urge the passage of this amendment and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentlelady from west
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virginia. mrs. capito: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: i yield myself three minutes and i yield for question to our colleague from mississippi, who has been with our support on our committee, a major proponent for protecting the people who he represents in wind and elsewhere. i yield to the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman veck niced. >> mr. chairman, last year you had extensive hearings on this subject. the bill proposed by the house increased the coverage amounts since it was a shock to a lot of people who had to rebuild that $250,000 doesn't buy the kind of house it used to 10 years ago. we took the step to end the practice of concurrent causeation, where if, according to testimony before the mississippi supreme court a house was 95% destroyed by the wind, before the water got there, the insurance companies would bill the federal government for $100 -- for 1 hurkt% of the cost of the
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damage, that's testimony before the mississippi supreme court. the other thing is the possibility of adding wind insurance to the national flood insurance program so there isn't any discrepancy, doesn't mat for the wind destroyed house or the flood did if you built to it code and paid your premiums, you're going to get paid. i realize your committee has been very busy with the housing crisis, everyone is aware of this. but folks in the affected regions, now 52% of all americans, are curious, at what point do you think there will be talk about these changes? mr. frank: there's been a request for an -- from the president about this, that's why the six-month administration, i believe the house remains committed to that. what happens in the senate will
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be another issue. but it is certainly our intention, the leadership of the committee on the majority side to work with the gentleman to extend that protection and hope that maybe thing wills change in the senate. i yield again. mr. taylor: does the gentleman envision hear this is fall on the subject? mr. frank: it would be appropriate, as members know, we are probably not going away for a while this calendar year. yes, i know the gentleman from california who chairs the subcommittee which has jurisdiction s very interested in this and plans to have some hearings. mr. taylor: i thank the gentleman, and to the previous speaker who lives in a house on stilts and represents people who live in houses on stilts, they're not all that bad. mr. frank: i would say just to finish up, the gentlewoman did talk about the problem of housing on stilts in an earthquake area. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlelady from west virginia. mrs. capito: i don't live on a house on stilts, i live in the mountain, i guess that's a good thing, but i yield back and i urge support of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: i will yield back after recalling the views of the british philosopher jeremy bentham who said he thought talk of natural law was nonsense and the law of natural law on stilts. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3139 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the motion is passed and without objection, the motion to recommit is laid on the table. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: i move that the
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house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 26236789 the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: a bill to clarify and expand the definition of certain persons under the federal securities laws. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. frank and the gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: this is another important, bipartisan bill. the gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy, took the initiative here and we were pleased to work with him. the chair of the subcommittee, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. can courseky, is dealing with a back problem, he's not here, but he's not dealing with a back bone problem because this puts more back bone into the laws. the s.e.c. enhanced their ability to kick people out of the industry who have a bad record. it makes it very clear that a
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past bad record and past affiliation would still be relevant in giving the s.e.c. the right to protect investors. we are all aware that too little has been done to protect investors. this is a step forward toward further empowering the s.e.c. to do the job of protecting investors. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mccarthy: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccarthy: i rise in support of h.r. 2623, legislation to amend the federal security laws to clarify the s.e.c.'s authority to sanction certain employees of regulated or supervised entities after they leave their jobs. i'd like to thank mr. kanjorski and mr. frank for bringing this bill to the floor today. i'd like to mention that this legislation was included in a larger piece of security legislation from the 110th congress, h.r. 6153, the
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security act of 2008, which passed the house on voice vote. it also included the consume brother text and regulatory act introduced by ranking member bachus and i ask for support of this legislation. this is to ensure that former employees of organizations like the new york stock exchange can be held accountable for any misconduct while an employee of the organizations. many provisions of federal securities law, which authorize the sanctioning of a person who engages in misconduct while associated with the regular lated or supervised entity provide that such authority exists even if the person is no longer associated with that entity or has left his or her job. there are confusing loopholes so employees at some regulated or supervised organizations cannot be sanctioned by the s.e.c. after they leave their position. by clarifying the s.e.c.'s
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authority to sanction former employee we ensure that employees are held accountable for their actions while in those positions, even if they've moved on to another job. specifically, my legislation amends the securities exchange act of 1934 and the investment company act of 1940. congress must ensure that the s.e.c. has authority to investigate individuals suspected of violating the security laws to bring enforcement cases, and in those cases considered on the merits and not be dismissed on an ambiguity because of a statute that's confusing. no one should be able to violate security laws and resign their position knowing the s.e.c. cannot proceed against them. this does not change the current authority of the s.e.c., it clarifies it. one illustration of the need for this is the case of sal sadano, chairman and c.e.o. of the american stock exchange. he was charged with failing to
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enforce compliance with the exchange act during his term as the amax chairman and c.e.o. however the s.e.c. filing occurred after he left the amax in 2005. so his lawyers pointed to this loophole in the federal law, that the s.e.c. could only sanction individuals while they were still associated with the organization. the s.e.c.'s administrative law judge noted that the current law does not provide for sanctioning of former officer or director. the judge specifically noted that congress has drafted many statutes that allow the ability to sanction individuals formerly associated with any number of entities, but not in this case. by passing h.r. 2623, congress can close this loophole and ensure accountability for the individuals working at regulated or supervised entities. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation which will provide more accountability, transparencies and efficiencies in security regulation. mr. speaker, i have no further speakers and i yield back the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: mr. speaker, first, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous bill on this bill and the preceding bill, h.r. 3139. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. frank: i congratulate the gentleman on his work and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: all time having been yielded back, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2623. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for
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what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? mr. polis: mr. speaker, by the direction of the committee on rules, i call up, house resolution 685 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 685,resolved, that at any time after the adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill h.r. 3326, making appropriations for the department of defense for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2010, and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived except those arising under clause 9 or 10 of rule 21. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations. after general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute
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rule. the bill shall be considered as read through page 147, line 4. points of order against provisions in the bill for failure to comply with clause 2 of rule 21 are waived. notwithstanding clause 11 of rule 18, except as provided in section 2, no amendment shall be in order except, one, the amendments printed in part a of the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution, which may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question. two, not to exceed eight of the amendments printed in part b of the report of the committee on rules if offered by representative flake of arizona or his designee, which may be offered only in the order printed in the report, shall be considered as read, and shall be debatable for 10 minutes
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equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. three, an en bloc amendment, if offered by representative flake of arizona or his designee, consisting of all of the amendments printed in part b of the report of the committee on rules, which shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for 10 minutes equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question. and, four, not to exceed two of the amendments printed in part c of the report of the committee on rules if offered by representative campbell of california or his designee, which may be offered only in the order printed in the report, shall be considered as read, and shall be debatable for 10 minutes equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. all points of order against such amendments are waived except those arising under clause 9 or 10 of rule 21. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the committee shall rise and report the bill to the
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house with such amendments as may have been adopted. in the case of sundry amendments reported from the committee, the question of their adoption shall be put to the house en gros and without division of the question. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 2,after disposition of the amendments specified in the first section of this resolution, the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations or their designees each may offer one pro forma amendment to the bill for the purpose of debate, which shall be controlled by the proponent. section 3, the chair may entertain a motion that the committee rise only if offered by the chair of the committee on appropriations or his designee. the chair may not entertain a motion to strike out the enacting words of the bill as described in clause 9 of rule 18. section 4, during consideration
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of h.r. 3326, the chair may reduce to two minutes the minimum time for electronic voting under clause 6 of rule 18 and clauses 8 and 9 of rule 20. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: i raise a point of order against h.res. 685 because the rule violates section 425-a of the congressional budget acts. it contains a waiver of all points of order against consideration of the bill which includes a waiver of section 425 of the congressional budget act which causes a violation of section 426-a. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona makes a point of order that the resolution violates section 426-a of the codge budget act of 1974. the gentleman has met the threshold burden under the rule and the gentleman from arizona and a member opposed will control 10 minutes of debate on question of consideration. after that the chair will put the question to consideration. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: i thank the chair.
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i don't know if there are unfunded mandates in this bill. that is not the reason i raise a point of order. it's the only reason that those of us in the minority have to talk about this process that has been extremely restricted. the rule for the defense bill markets the 12th time during the appropriations season that the majority has shut down what has traditionally been an open process. the defense is considered last and we'll have just about a day to consider it. in recent years this bill has been rifed with earmarks going to for-profit companies. there are 1,102 earmarks stuffed into this bill and nearly 550 of them worth at least $1.3 billion are going to private for-profit companies. the corrupting nature of this practice, which the president himself has publicly noted, has been itself evident with the
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p.m.a. scandal that's centered around campaign contributions and earmarks. it is for this reason and this reason alone that i chose to offer 552 amendments to the rules committee each one fargetting an earmark that the sponsors listed on their website as going to a for-profit company. these amendments have been derived as an abuse of the process. i'd like to address this criticism, which i think is wholly unfair. it's unfair because the office of legislative counsel is not in any way inconvenience by the drafting of these amendments. my staff wrote them and wrote them individually. they were delivered to the rules committee well in advance of a 3:00 p.m. monday deadline given them enough time to process these amendments accordingly. in fact, i'm told that the rules committee closed up shop at around 8:00 p.m. friday night. at the rules committee meeting yesterday, there were 12 -- i'm sorry -- and the rules
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committee met yesterday, and the 12th rule of this appropriation process was passed, which restricted amendments again. that meeting lasted just one hour, one hour, the rules committee met and in one hour dealt apparently with more than 600 amendments that were submitted. that is almost equivalent to the appropriations committee meeting for 18 minutes to pass this bill out of committee, a bill with more than 1,000 earmarks, more than 500 earmarks that are no-bid contracts to private companies, passed by the appropriations committee in 18 minutes. now, the majority talks a lot about making sure that we do this all in a timely process. i would suggest there's something to be a bit more thorough. you cannot vet more than 1,000 earmarks, more than 550 of which are no-bid contracts to
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private companies in 18 minutes. and you can't restrict it in this way coming to the floor and expect this to be a thorough process. it is a quick process. maybe the trains are running on time. but we're not doing our job here. the flawed process by which the rules committee reported this bill does not appear to have been delayed or inconvenienced in any way by submission of these amendments. referring to these amendments submissions as an abuse of the process is far-fetched considering the severe restrictions the rules committee has placed on our ability to offer amendments to appropriation bills. this is a process, again, that has been traditionally open. excluding the defense bill, more than 800 amendments were submitted to the rules committee for 10 appropriation bills the house has already considered this summer. at the start of the process, the chairman of the appropriations committee said, quote, there are a limited number of hours between now and the time we recess. if we don't get our work done, we have to limit the amount -- if we want to get our work done, we have to limit the
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debate time that we spend on these bills. the majority leader he canowed this sentiment as an explanation for -- echoed this sentiment as an explanation for clamping down the process. quote, the reason is to give us the opportunity to go to the rules committee and provide for, as i said, time constraints in which we can effectively complete this bill. this has been the exclues that's been -- excuse that's been used so far, an excuse to make in order only 18% of the amendments submitted for appropriation bills we've seen so far. i realize that amongst my colleagues i've been the most fortunate. i've been permitted to offer more than 40 amendments, 26% of all of the amendments ruled in order in total of these bills. i suppose i should be grateful. for any crumbs that fall from the appropriations committee or the rules committee. but my amendments were ruled in order at the expense of other, perhaps more substantive amendments, in many ways as at majority to deflect blame and
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to prevent their members from making tough votes on some of the other amendments that were submitted. when i was on the house floor with a couple of bills, i offered time and time again, in fact, 16 times i asked for unanimous consent to substitute some of my colleagues' amendments for my own. we already had the time constraints for the bill. so the notion that we had to make the trains run on time, we had to get this debate done was not the point. but i was rejected 16 times in a row, not because the amendments offered by my colleagues weren't germane. they were. they simply weren't ruled in order by the majority because they didn't want to face those amendments. and that, if we're going to talk about abuse of the process, there it is. it's not offering 550 amendments because we're doing more than 550 no-bid contracts to private companies. that's not where the abuse lies. the abuse lies in the majority saying we're only go to entertain those amendments that
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we know we can beat or that we want to entertain or that are entertaining, apparently. not the ones that may be difficult for us. now, when republicans were in the majority, i've often said we did a few things that we shouldn't have, holding a vote open for three hours. it wasn't a good thing. but i've never seen any abuse of the process like this. no matter how the republicans when they were in power didn't want to see amendments like some of mine they allowed them. we spent i think three days on the interior appropriation bill because members kept coming forward offering amendments that our own majority didn't want to see but they knew that they shouldn't shut down this process, which has been traditionally open. but the new majority has decided to completely close it. and to not have one appropriation bill this year come to the floor under an open rule. and in particular, when some will make the argument that,
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well, hay, back in the 1970's there were other -- occasions when the appropriation bills were not brought in order to the floor. bills are brought to the floor that have been stuffed to the gills with earmarks like this bill that we're considering today, more than 1,000 earmarks, more than 500 of which are no-bid contracts to private companies for which the appropriations committee took 18 minutes to vet and to send on to the house floor. and then we're told, you can only offer eight of the 553 amendments you submitted or 552. only eight of them. you can choose them because we don't have time to vet any more at that time. well, if we -- let me just reserve the balance of my time at this point. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? mr. polis: mr. speaker, i yield
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myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman claim time in opposition? mr. polis: i do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 10 minutes. mr. polis: mr. speaker, as my colleagues know, we've been here before. this very same point of order has been raised against nearly every appropriations bill and each time it's used to discuss something other than its intended purpose, which is supposed to be about unfunded mandates. once again, it's about delaying consideration of this bill and ultimately stopping it altogether. i hope my colleagues will again vote yes so we can consider this legislation on its merits and fund the important defense needs of this nation. those who oppose the bill are welcomed to vote against this bill on final passage. we must consider this rule and we must pass this legislation today to continue to fund the defense and protection of our country. i have the right to close, but in the end i will urge my colleagues to vote yes to consider the rule. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from arizona.
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mr. flake: may i inquire as to the time remaining. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has two minutes remain, the gentleman from colorado has nine minutes remaining. mr. flake: it's been said i was trying to delay the resolution. i could stand up here with a privileged resolution and read every one of the amendments i wasn't allowed to offer into the record. that would take hours. this is the only way to stand and register objection to the closed process. i suppose i could read the transcript of yesterday's court trial of an individual who i believe is pleading guilty in some fashion, a contractor who received earmarks and who passed them on to other contractors who weren't doing work at all. it came to the floor, probably last year under a closed process, no amendments could have been offered. here we have investigations,
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particularly with the p.m.a. scandal, swirling with this institution because we aren't doing our work, we aren't vetting these bills. i wish the appropriations committee would. but they're not. when you come to the floor and say, we'd like to challenge a few of these earmarks, you can say -- you say, you can challenge eight of them, eight of the more than 550 no-bid contracts. that's all we have time for because we have to pass this bill today, for some reason. the fiscal year doesn't end up -- doesn't run out until the end of september. this is not a bill that has to be passed today or tomorrow. we can spend the time we need, or we should have taken time earlier this year instead of doing suspension bills or last friday instead of passing a wild horse welfare act or whatever we did. the appropriations bills are the most important work this congress does and to say we have to move through them quickly so nobody see what is we're doing so nebraska sees we're doing no-bid contracts
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for private companies is simply wrong that is the abuse of power in this institution, not bringing 553 amendments to the floor. with that, i urge opposition to the rule and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: i encourage my colleague from arizona to stick around, assuming this motion passes if for discussion of the rule he will find in the proposed rule there is the opportunity we will be giving the house of representatives as a whole to vote on a block of amendments the gentleman has identified as well as several individual that the gentleman has identified. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on the motion to consider so we can debate and pass the important piece of legislation today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: all time for debate has expired.
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the question is, shall the house now consider the resolution? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the question of consideration is decided in the affirmative. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for one hour. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. for the purposes of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from california, my colleague on the rules committee, mr. dreier. all time yielded in consideration of the rules is for debate only. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. polis: i yield myself such time as i may consume and ask that all members be given five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on this.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- without objection. mr. polis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: i'd like to thank chairman obey, ranking member lewis, chairman murtha and ranking member young for their tireless and bipartisan work on this important bill to fund the defense needs of our nation. their job is not easy. the needs of this country are endless. our security challenges are daunting. threats to our security are numerous and always changing and the resources we can devote to these problems are precious and limited as our nation faces a severe recession. each year we must prioritize, reevaluate and invest in strategies to keep our country and people safe. we will invest in equipment that will protect our troops and in program this is a will care for the men and women who defend us who serve our country so bravely and capably every
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day. h.r. 3326 fulfills these responsibilities by providing first class equipment for our troops in harm's way by increasing fiscal responsibility and oversight within the department of defense and by investing in adequate health care and increased compensation for our soldiers and their families. to help protect our troop the bill provides increased funding for the mine resistant ambush vehicle fund and new humvees and heavy and medium tactical vehicles to meet the needs of the military. it also provides for weapons systems that meet our current and future needs. instead of plunging money into weapons system this is a are based on threats that are antiquated we no longer face we need to transform our military to make sure we can keep the american people safe. we cannot fulfill our response blets to troop, to taxpayers, or to the nation if we can't meet our fiscal responsibilities.
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h.r. 2336 -- 3326 provides $5.1 billion for department of defense personnel to perform d.o.d. functions. it provides funding for the inspector general to increase oversight over the acquisition and contracting process to ensure taxpayer funds are spent wisely. by reducing funds we can provide better care and a better quality of life for the men and women of the armed forces and their families. h.r. 3326 increases pay for all service members by 3.4% and fully funds the requested strength levels for active and reserve personnel. it continues efforts to end the practice of stop loss, so difficult for the families of troops deployed overseas and includes $8.3 million to pay service members $500 for every month of involuntary service. the bill provides $29.9 billion
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for top of the line medical care, including $500 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health and increased funding for the wounded, ill, and injured warrior programs. we can make no greater investment than the health and welfare of those who have sacrificed and given so much to protect our freedoms. it's also important to keep in mind that for every soldier dutyfully serving on the battlefields, sailing on a ship in the pacific or atlanta, or stationed on a military base in japan or else where there's a military family in our neighborhoods, our cities, our districts, and those families, too, are serving our country. to honor their commitment to this country and acknowledge their sacrifice this year has been called the year of the military family this bill adds substance to those words and that title. h.r. 3326 includes over 472 -- over $472 million for family
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advocacy programs. it also includes $20 million for the army national guard family assistance centers and reintegration programs. i believe this bill is a positive step forward in the way congress prioritizes military spending and provides for the military -- for the men and women who serve the nation and their families. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks and i want to begin by expressing my appreciation to my very dwisht rules committee colleague for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. i was thinking as i was sitting here listening to his very thoughtful remarks, he's a diligent and hardworking new member of the committee, he's now this month completed six months, halfway through the first session of the 111th
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congress. and my friend on the rules committee has, along with 70-something odd other members not once, not once seen something that, when i've been -- when i'd been here six months i'd seen on countless occasions, that's an open rule, an open amendment process. i will say, mr. speaker, that i hope very much that my friend on the rules committee, the other new members of the rule committees, and the members of the institution and most important the american people, will sometime in the 111th congress have the opportunity to see an open debate under the five-minute rule in the house of representatives. mr. speaker, last week, we marked a very significant anniversary in this institution. it was the formal consideration of james madison's proposal to amend the constitution to add a
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bill of rights. that debate, mr. speaker, began 220 years ago just this last week. it was july 21 of 1789 that the house of representatives began the process of debating whether or not to proceed with the bill of rights. in that first summer, of the very first congress, congressman madison proposed his amendments, which were considered by the house rules committee and then moved to the house floor for a 10-day debate. i underscore that again, mr. speaker, the debate that took place on the floor of the house of representatives lasted 10 days for consideration of the bill of rights. i believe, mr. speaker, that that took place that summer, and it was very, very instructive. it was instructive, the debate that we saw 220 years ago this summer, not just for its
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substance, but in many ways for the nature of that debate that was managed by congressman madison who incidentally, represented the seat that is now held by oour distinguished republican whip, mr. cantor. throughout the course of that debate, summer of 1789, it was very clear that mr. madison had great respect for the views of the members who disagreed with him. he had a great deal of respect for those with whom he vigorously disagreed he argued with civility, comity and respect. he never impugned his adversaries' motives. in fact, mr. speaker, he not only didn't impugn his adversaries' motives he actually defended them himself in debate. he passionately sought consensus on the fundamental issues and placed it above his
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own ambivalence, his ambivalence that existed on lesser concerns. it was ambivalence because, if you'll recall your history, mr. speaker, he was not at the outset a believer in the necessity of a bill of rights. he urged his colleagues to act on, and i quote from a june, 1789, speech when he introduced the bill of rights, what he called the principles of amity and moderation to proceed with caution, but that ultimately they must act resolutely to satisfy the public mind. again, congressman madison's minds he did not believe that decisive action and a full, open debate were mutually exclusive. he believed that clearly that ultimate decision would be a better one with a full, rigorous, and open debate. he saw them as being fully entertained -- intertwined that elevating the debate above reproach would give this body
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the moral authority to act decisively and appropriately as a truly representative body which it has been. i believe in this mad sonian model, mr. speaker -- in this madisonian model, mr. speaker, very, very fervently. i believe in the model of rigorous, open, and civil debate. it's with great dismay i have seen the tenor of our debate deteriorate and the legislative process grow more closed in recent years. the closing down of the traditionally open appropriations process has for me personally been the most troubling thing to observe. we have the very serio responsibility of spending the taxpayers' hard-earned money and the responsibility that responsibility deserves a completely open and transparent process. unfortunately this year for the first time in the 220-year
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history, we have had a restrictive appropriations process from beginning to what today is now the end. this was pointed out by mr. flake earlier, this is the last of the, now, 12 appropriations bills. today we consider that final appropriations bill under the exact same restrictive process with which we've considered every single appropriations bill for the upcoming fiscal year. now, mere, as we mark this very historic debate on the bill of routes, we unfortunately are making history of our own. it's not history of which we can be very proud. it's not history that will judge this institution kindly. today, we mark the final death now for the open process with
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which we have historically hasled our constitutional mandated power of the purse. the abandonment of this tradition began just over a month ago on june 17 when the democratic majority announced at the very outset of the process that it would not be granting the customary open rule for spending bills. since that day, june 17, we have been on a steady march toward an ever more restrictive process, barring the full transparency that the taxpayers deserve and prohibiting the full participation of rank and file members of both parties. and i will say that we regularly hear that this is characterized as republicans complaining or whining. we're fighting for the rights of republicans and democrats, mr. speaker. and the reason is the democrats and the republicans represent the american people, and it's the american people who are
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being undermined by this very unfortunate process. with today's consideration of our final appropriations bill, the full pivot to what i'm describing as the new normal becomes complete. having cast aside one of our longest held traditions we now have a process where the chairman of the appropriations committee alone is the sole ash tore of what spending -- aritor of what spending amendments can be offered, who can speak on them and for how long. they have done this in the name of expediency, citing a strict schedule that must be adhered to. as mr. flake pointed out earlier, why didn't they impose an overall time limit debate on each bill? if it's simply was this schedule that mr. obey has repeatedly held up, just put an outside time limit on the debate. i would not have been a proponent of that, but it
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certainly would have been prmpable to this kind of restriction -- preferable to this kind of restriction on the american people of having their representative offering amendments. a popular justification has been to claim that the process took too long back in 2007, so it had to be controlled from the beginning this time. but that argument completely overlooks the fact that 2007 was a very unique year. it was a transition year from a republican majority to a democratic majority here in the house. one of the hallmarks of transition years is a lengthier appropriations process, and yet the new republican minority took less floor time in 2007, almost 26 hours less, than the new democratic majority did back in 1995. again, let me underscore that. as we heard that the 27
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appropriations process was so out of hand we needed to realize that actually being a transition year there were actually fewer amendments that were poe posed by members of the new minority than had been the case when democrats were in the -- proposed by members of the new minority than had been the case when democrats were in the minority. time spent on spending bills, it was very modest when the democrats entered the minority following the 1994 election. the democrat majority's excuses just don't stand up to scrutiny. the real motivation, mr. speaker, for this restrictive process has been to cherry pick amendments, to cherry pick amendments and to shield their prove la gait spending -- proflagate spending process. it's very obvious. my republican colleagues on the
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rules committee and i, mr. diaz-balart, mr. sessions and ms. foxx have in fact just completed last night -- i'm glad that my friend on the other side has it and i look forward to his comments and thoughts on it as well as those of our other colleagues. we have just completed through a great deal of effort by members of the rules committee staff this report entitled "opportunities loss: the end of the appropriations process," and i encourage anyone who is interested in this -- and i have this report, which we're just issuing today, mr. speaker, in the not too distant future, i hope later today or tomorrow we'll have this report available online for our colleagues who would want to gain access to it. they just need to go to rules -republicans.house.gov and a copy of this report will be made available. the great irony, mr. speaker, of all of this is that the
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democratic majority campaigned on the need for full, open and transparent debate. that was the plank of the platform back when the majority was won and in fact in the last election as well. and i think it's extraordinarily ironic that while we heard this argument made about a culture of corruption, those are the terms that ms. pelosi used repeatedly, we just had the gentleman from arizona offer over 500 amendments to deal with this challenge. i mean, there are people in jail today, former members of this institution are in jail today because of abuse of the earmark process and yet those who campaigned on this issue of ending of culture of corruption are denying an opportunity for a full vetting of the amendments that have been proposed by our friend, mr. flake. regardless of what you think on a particular issue, it would seem to me that deny -- denying
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an opportunity to offer amendments, although he only has eight opportunities out of the 500 he filed. so he's denied an opportunity to submit those amendments is to me really playing a role of exacerbating what ms. pelosi described as the culture of corruption rather than working to bring it to an end. i will say that as we proceed here and we've gone for 2 1/2 years -- it's actually been two years since we had an open rule considered here in the house of representatives, i've got to say the notion of saying that we're going to have, as the american people were promised, fall, open, rigorous, transparent debate, they were empty words. they were clearly empty words. they have taken us precisely in the opposite direction, mr.
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speaker culminating in this dubious honor of being the first majority in the 220-year history of the united states of america to shut down the appropriations process from start to finish. now, i believe it's no accident that this abandonment of open debate on our appropriations bills has coinsided with the most excessive spending in our nation's history. it's no could he incident that our deficit has reached the $1 trillion mark at the same time that the majority has shut out meaningful debate on their spending practices. looking back over the better part of the last two decades, as this detailed report of ours shows, it's clear just how much damage has been done to our deliberative imperative as an institution under this new majority.
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mr. speaker, this resort to restrictive debate is made even starker when we look back to exactly where we began 220 years ago this summer with that great debate launched by the author, the father of the u.s. constitution, james madison, when he decided to proceed with the bill of rights. if james madison were alive today i think he would be absolutely horrified. i think this is the closing line we have in this report. i say, this summer marks the 220th anniversary of the introduction of the bill of rights by james madison, the first congress. it is a good thing that he is no longer alive to see what the house has become. if he were, he would wonder where we went wrong. mr. speaker, i want us to have an opportunity to engage in
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rigorous, open, civil debate. and unfortunately we are denied that opportunity under this restrictive rule. so i urge my colleagues to oppose this rule. this is our last opportunity in this appropriations process. we can prove wrong the statement that i just made that we've had a closeed -- closed process from start to finish if we reject this rule. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for this report. i look forward to reading it, discussing it and hopefully composing some best practices for future processees. i would point out there is, of course, distinctions in the type of work that we do here between the critical, philosophical and democratic bases of our country and the discussion around the debate of the bill of rights and the work
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of the house that we need to conduct in a bipartisan way. the gentleman will recall that yesterday the ranking member young and chairman murtha appeared before our rules committee and discussed how there was a strong bipartisan consensus on the bill. in fact, i believe that ranking member young indicated that the bill would look substantially the same regardless of which party was in the majority. which shows the dedication of both parties in our country to protecting our people. i have to admit, as somebody, myself, who is -- was against the iraq war and is very skeptical of our ongoing operations of afghanistan and indeed what our exit strategy is, it was actually disconcerting to me that the bill would look the same with regard to whichever party was in the majority. and to address some of the issues relating to the exit strategy in afghanistan and where we see that going. i would like to yield three minutes to my colleague, the vice chairman of the rules committee, mr. mcgovern. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for three minutes.
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mr. mcgovern: thank you, and i thank the gentleman for yielding. and, mr. speaker, i rise in support of the rule and in support of the fiscal year 2010 defense appropriations bill, which the house will take up shortly. with the passage of this bill, we will have completed all of our appropriations bills, and we will have successfully overcome republican obstructionism and attempts to undermine the legislative process. so i think this is good news for the people of the country that we are actually getting our work done, which is something that they were not able to do very successfully. mr. speaker, h.r. 3326 by in large is a good bill. it provides support for our military families and it provides the troops with the equipment and funding they need to carry out their duties and carry out their assigned missions. i want to congratulate chairman murtha and ranking member young for their bipartisan work on this bill. but, mr. speaker, i do not support this bill without significant reservations. i believe that this congress has not yet come to grips with
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what our policy is in afghanistan. this house recently passed an emergency supplemental appropriation bill that provides billions and billions of dollars for the war in afghanistan, a measure that i opposed. but i believe then as i do now that it is a mistake to spend billions and billions of dollars more for a war that has no clearly defined mission. and my concern deepened when i recently read reports that indicated that general mcchrystal believes we will have to expand our forces and thereby expand our mission in afghanistan, meaning more money and more troops. right now just to get the job started. i still have this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that we're getting sucked into something where the mission and goals are vague and it's unclear how it will end. that's why, mr. speaker, we need an exit strategy. we need a clear definition of when this policy comes to answered, when our troops can come home.
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not a date certain, but an explanation as to when the military part of this operation comes to a close. mr. speaker, i remain skeptical about our policy in afghanistan. i think this administration needs to provide congress and this nation and our military families with more clarity on this issue. and if they don't i believe congress needs to demand it. like all my colleagues, i have had many conversations with the men and women who serve in iraq and afghanistan. sometimes when they are about to deploy, sometimes when they've just come home, sometimes when they come to my district office and often because we just run into one another at coffee shop, a diner, at a community center or on the street. i believe we owe them a great deal of gratitude for their service. we owe them the respect of looking them in the eye and telling them exactly what we are doing when we vote for money and missions that will send them directly into harm's way. someplace where they might not
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return safe and sound to their families and loved ones. so, mr. speaker, i am not asking for a protest vote on this bill. on this day i intend to vote in support of this bill. can i have 30 seconds? mr. polis: i yield 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. mcgovern: i raise these concerns because i firmly think they need more discussion and debate. congress has been too quiet on the issue of afghanistan, and that needs to change. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. and i'd like to say that in response to, again, my hardworking rules committee colleague, mr. polis, who earlier was talking about the great hearing that we had upstairs with the chairman and the ranking minority member of the defense appropriations subcommittee, he was talking about the fact that mr. young indicated that this bill would look very similar if he had been in the top position as
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chairman, which he's been chairman of the appropriations committee, chairman of the appropriations subcommittee and now serves as the great ranking minority member. but i would argue, mr. speaker, that this does not mean in any way because the appropriations committee members are able to work together that we should deny the rest of the american people who don't have representatives, like the gentleman from colorado and i, who serve on the appropriations committee, the opportunity to participate in this process which was always the case when mr. young was chairman with a very, very brief exception when there was bipartisan consensus and concern back in 1997, i guess, and i don't know -- maybe you won't chairman in 1997. were you chairman in 1997? i don't think so. i don't think he was chairman in 1997 at that one occasion. i have to say that under his chairmanship we always had an open amendment process here on the house floor. and i'd like to recognize my good friend from indian shores,
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the distinguished ranking member of the subcommittee and former chairman of the subcommittee and full committee, mr. young. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. young: it's a good bill. and both spokesmen from the rules committee are correct. we did testify that this bill was written, created with tremendous bipartisan support, bipartisan cooperation. and it's basically the same bill that we would have presented if i were chairman still to this day. but the point that mr. dreier makes is this, when we were the majority, we brought this bill to the floor under an open rule. we allowed all of the members, not just the members of the subcommittee, not just the members of the appropriations committee, but we allowed all of the members as long as the amendment was germane, we did have to meet the germaneness
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issue, but we allowed members to offer whatever amendments they felt that they should offer. and to have the debate. i'm strong supporter of this bill because it's a good package. it provides for adequate training. it provides for adequate equipment to perform the mission. and it provides force protection , information, and then -- and equipment to protect the soldiers while they are fighting. so it's a good bill. but we think that the rest of the members should have an opportunity to be involved in the debate. this is a great national security issue. mr. dreier: i thank my friend for his very thoughtful contribution. and having served as many years -- how many years has my friend served in the house, mr. speaker? mr. young: you really want to know? 39. mr. dreier: nearly four decades in this house. mr. speaker, during those four decades of very distinguished service, mr. young has been in the minority and in the
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majority, and virtually always had an open amendment process. and he understood very well as the chairman of the appropriations committee that to deny members the opportunity to participate in this is just plain wrong. and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for two minutes. mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy in permitting me to speak on the rule. this is serious business. one of the most important bills that we will be examining. i wanted to call attention to two items that i had hoped to be able to be debating here on the floor dealing with restoring the environmental restoration for the army, navy, air force, and
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defensewide accounts for fiscal year 2009 levels to increase the much overlooked formerly used defense sites by $49 million. environmental restoration formerly used defense sites are areas that simply get overlooked. the committee in its wisdom accepted levels that were recommended by the administration, but that doesn't make them right. and we are in a situation now where we are looking at not just decades but far into the future to be able to clean up the toxic legacy of unexploded ordnance and military toxic. -- toxics. i am intending to work diligently with the committee in conference to see if we can make the adjustments f. we can work with the new administration that
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they make this a higher priority because every state in the union is burdened with this toxic legacy of unexploded ordnance and environmentally dangerous items. the military wants to clean it up. we need to give them the resources to do so. i have been listening to the colloquy here about process with my good friends on both sides of the aisle. i am hopeful that we will be able in the months ahead to be able to roll up our sleeves and work together. there's never really a good time to fix this. but i hope that we will be able to return to a more regular order in the next cycle. i look forward to working with friends on both sides of the aisle to make sure that this is smooth. everybody has their voice. and that we are working to respect one another. i listened yesterday to things that were -- mr. polis: an additional 30 seconds. mr. blumenauer: i listened to things yesterday that were deeply disturbing on the floor of the house as inically i was
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in the chair. --ironically i was in the chair and heard things that were frankly over the line. i understand frustrations build on both sides of the aisle with humidity -- i won't. mr. dreier: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. mr. blumenauer: with due respect i'd like to finish my thought i would -- mr. dreier: i yielded you a minute. mr. blumenauer: what i wanted to say was that i'm hopeful that we can sort of take a little air out of the balloon. one of the first things i did when i came here right after the government shutdown in a special election was be be part of an effort to have -- mr. dreier: aid like to yield the gentleman an a minute. mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy. was part of an effort where we had sort of a bipartisan civility caucus. where we had conferences and we worked to try and lower the temperature here. i don't think it's something that's going to happen today or
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tomorrow. but i want to say that i am hopeful that we can pull out of this nose dive that we are hearing with some of the heated rhetoric on some of the health care issues. i heard the gentleman talk about open rules as it relates to appropriation. i think it's part of a great big package. i think we all need to be working together to cooperate on this and it's something that i care deeply about. and look forward -- mr. dreier: would the gentleman yield? mr. blumenauer: after we get out of here and get back home to be grounded at home as we come back in the fall. be happy to yield. mr. dreier: i thank my friend for yielding. let me simply say that what has led us to this point has been for the first time in the 220-year history of the united states of america the shutting down of the appropriations process. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. dreier: i yield myself 30 seconds. i will say to my friend, if i could engage in a colloquy with my friend, will i say to him
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that very, very clearly the argument he was just propounded about the desire to get back on track with an open -- i assume the gentleman meant an open amendment process which is what we had for 220 years, i would will say, mr. speaker, it's my hope we will do that. frankly today is our last opportunity if we in fact have all 12 of the appropriations rules closed down as this has been. mr. blumenauer: does the gentleman want a colloquy? mr. dreier: 30 seconds. mr. blumenauer: i understand the gentleman's frustration. but i sat on the other side and listened and had things that our people -- mr. dreier: as i reclaim my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california controls the time. mr. dreier: i reclaim my time and say the following. my friend, mr. blumenauer, mr. speaker, my friend, mr. blumenauer, has never sat on the side as a member of the minority
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having been denied the opportunity that he has just said that he is denied today in the appropriations process because never before has he or any member of this institution had all of the appropriations rules handled under a closed process such as this. mr. speaker, at this time i'm happy to yield three minutes to my very, very hardworking colleague from morristown, new jersey, the distinguished ranking member of the subcommittee on energy and water. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. frelinghuysen: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise in opposition to the rule but in support of the underlying defense appropriations bill. there is nothing more important than the safety and security of our nation and our people. this underlying bill will provide our troops, all volunteers, the resources and tools they need and will allow them to continue their heroic work to protect us and are interested around the world. even though i oppose this restrictive rule and it's a
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restrictive rule, i will support the bill. but i wish we could have found some way to meet and improve on the president's request for the department of defense. this bill falls $3.5 billion short of even president obama's treading water budget. the world did not become a safer place in january. the signs are everywhere. north korea is threatening conventional and nuke with a lar war -- nuclear war, russia is becoming more bye lidge rent, china is -- ba lidgeant -- belligerent, china is expanding it's naval commissions. and yes there are disturbing signs occurring in africa. horrendous acts of violence in the name of religion. and yet we are cutting missile defense, halting the army's modernization program known as the future combat system, and refiguring it. and failing to provide enough
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money for more navy ships and fifth generation air force fighters. this treading water approach to national security is very shortsighted. mr. speaker, i support reform of our military acquisition process. i support secretary gates' program to re-examine our national security priorities in light of new irregular chal lention and the threats that are proliferating well beyond iraq and afghanistan. but i'm worried about our apparent obsession with this war. yes we must focus our attention and resources on iraq and afghanistan, but i urge my colleagues to make sure that we make enough investments today to ensure that we are -- will be prepared to defend our interest against all threats in the years to come. mr. speaker, our defense subcommittee once again has been a model for bipartisan compromise and cooperation in the interest of national security. i want to thank mr. murtha and
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ranking member, mr. young, who spoke earlier for their work and their hard work and that of staff. but i urge defeat of this restrictive rule and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time of the the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to ensure with regard to the excellent colloquy between my colleague from california and the colleague from oregon, i share the concerns addressed by my colleague from oregon. again that was not a call with regard to this particular rule on this particular bill. but it is a discussion of process which is a healthy discussion. i look forward to reading the report that was put together by our colleagues on the rules committee. we are all in agreement that we should work to improve the process together. we want a process that we can call stand before the american people and say that this was a good process, constructive
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process, one that values expediency, participation, input, and i feel we can build upon the best practices and precedents of the past to work together with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to have an improved process in future years. i would like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from washington, a member of the committee on appropriations, mr. dicks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for two minutes. mr. dicks: thank you very much. i appreciate the gentleman yielding me time. i want to congratulate chairman murtha and mr. young, who has been our chairman in the past, for the excellent work they have done in crafting this defense appropriations bill. i have been on this committee for 31 years. vice chairman. and i think this is -- we have a great staff that works collaboratively on this bill. and i would just -- in discussing this process issue, i think the one thing that we do want the american people to understand is that in every one
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of our 12 subcommittees the ranking member, the republican, and the democratic chairman, are working together very effectively. they are involved in the entire process. . and i feel there is an indication that there can be bipartisan collaboration on these bills. at the full committee, there is no limit on amendments. the minority was able to offer as many amendments as they wished on these bills. now, when you get -- mr. dreier: will the gentleman yield for just one brief second. and i'll happy to yield additional time. mr. dicks: if you yield me time. mr. dreier: absolutely. i'd like to say to my friend that -- i think he makes great point, mr. speaker, about the working together of subcommittee chairman and ranking members. and we've been regularly arguing and i know my friend understands very well that on the floor when we have an open
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amendment process the subcommittee chairman and the ranking member, not anyone in the leadership, worked this out on the floor just as they have in committee. and it's my hope -- it was my hope that we were going to do that through this appropriations process. thank you for yielding. mr. dicks: and we got through these 12 bills. and what i'm saying here today that the american people want us to get our work done. now, when you're faced with a reality of the minority offering 600 amendments, 600 amendments which would -- that would take us days to go through 600 amendments, we've got other issues that have to be dealt with. and i'm not going to yield at this point until i finish. it would -- the first year that i was chairman of the interior and environment appropriations committee we looked back at it, the year before we were minority, it took us eight hours to go through the entire
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bill. the first year we were in the majority it was 22 hours. and there was no limit to the amount of amendments that could be offered. so i think we had to do this. this was the responsible thing to do was to limit the number of amendments, let the people like mr. flake, mr. campbell who want to pick out some of the earmarks that they are against, let them have their moment to address these issues and deal with any other substantive matters. but in order to get our work done, we could not let this thing to be open ended when one side does want to abuse the process, unfortunately. now, if we could have gotten an agreement, and i'm told that our leadership went over, met with mr. boehner, mr. hoyer and mr. obey and mr. boehner and mr. lewis and tried to work out something. now, the way you'd work this out -- and the gentleman from california and i are good
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friends. and we work together on many important trade issues over the years. i have great respect for him. but the way to work this thing out is for the two sides to get together before we go to the floor and limit the number of amendments, limit the number of amendments and then have a unanimous consent agreement if both sides could control their members. mr. dreier: will the gentleman yield on that point? mr. dicks: i will yield. mr. dreier: let me say that -- the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. polis: i yield one minute to the gentleman from washington. mr. dreier: if the gentleman will further yield. let me say that i disagree with all due respect about my friend about the notion of doing it before the process has even begun. let me go back to where we were. mr. dicks: but then there's -- there's a lack of trust here because if we -- if we can't get an agreement, which the leadership on both sides embrace, then there's no reason because there's an element within the gentleman's party
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that wants to offer unlimited amendments. mr. dreier: as was happening in 1997, we can go upstairs to the rules committee if we have recalcitrant members on each side of the aisle and shut down the process and there wouldn't be resistance if we try that open process. i thank my friend for yielding. mr. dicks: we got our work done. all 12 bills will be enacted before the august recess. this hasn't happened in years. i which we could have had an open process. when the minority is talking about 600 amendments, there is no choice but to limit that. we had to limit it in order to get our work done. and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. dreier: i'd like to inquire of my rules committee colleague if he has any further speakers. mr. polis: not at this point, no. mr. dreier: is the gentleman then prepared to close if i was to close? mr. polis: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from california has five minutes remaining. mr. dreier: how much time remaining? mr. speaker, i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. dreier: let me just say that it is very sad that we are at this point now at the completion of the appropriations process. my friend just referred to the term as we talk about best practices and working together precedence. well, the sad thing is with the 12th appropriation bill if we pass this rule set the precedent for the entire appropriations process. all 12 appropriations process -- bills have been considered under restrictive rule if we in fact proceed with this. and in fact i've just been given an amendment to this rule, mr. speaker, that will even shut the process down even further, denying members an opportunity to vy the question on the very few amendments that have been made in order. and so this notion that we have somehow this outside time limit. and my very good friend from seattle, mr. dicks, with whom i have been privileged to work on
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issues in the past, saying all these amendments have been filed. in 1995 when my colleagues on the other side went into the minority, there was an additional 26 hours, 26 hours spent on the debate on the appropriations bills than was the case when my party went into the minority in 2007. and so this notion that somehow awful these amendments would be offered is just -- all of these amendments would be offered is just plain wrong. why? because if you would shut down the process or have a modified open rule, the notion of having every amendment considered is the only option we have. mr. speaker, i'm standing here in the name of my oregon colleague, mr. blumenauer, he had two amendments that he sought to have made in order. and if we'd have an open amendment process, my colleague, mr. blumenauer, with whom i was able to engage in this colloquy a little, was to have his amendments made in order. he talked about the tension being high. well, the tension is high, mr. speaker, and it's not just
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around the issue of health care. it's around the fact that 220 years ago this very summer james madison, a member of the house rules committee, moved at the encouragement of his constituents the bill of rights with 10 days of debate through the house of representatives. and through the 220-year history of the united states of america, democrats and republicans alike representing but now is about 650,000 to 700,000 americans have had the right to stand up on the house floor and offer germane amendments to appropriations bills. i use the term sacrosanct to describe the appropriations process on the house floor. i never believed and i've not been here as the 39 years of mr. young, but i would never believe, mr. speaker, we'd get to the point where democrats and republicans alike would be shut out of the process which
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is exactly what has happened here. in a new direction for america that was penned by ms. pelosi when they were seeking the majority, they had a very, very interesting line. it said democrats believe that america needs and americans deserve a new direction that provides opportunity for all. opportunity for all is what they said was going to be the hallmark. apparently it's opportunity for all except for rank and file members of the united states house of representatives. because the elected representatives of both parties are being denied an opportunity to put forward their great ideas. and since we crossed this $1 trillion spending mark for the deficit in the first six months and is projected to go to $1.8 trillion by the end of this year, it's obvious that this process has been used to cherry-pick amendments and deny democrats and republicans who would like to engage in
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fiscally responsible policies from being able to do that. and so, mr. speaker is i ask unanimous consent -- i'm going to move to defeat the previous question, and if the previous question is defeated, i will offer an amendment to the rule providing a traditional open rule. we'll have the opportunity to return to our traditions to honor the vision of the framers of our constitution. and, mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the text of the amendment along with explainatoy material be entered before the vote. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. dreier: if the previous question does prevail to oppose this rule so we can get back madisonian vision of representative democracy. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california's time has expired.
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the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: mr. speaker, how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: 13 1/2 minutes. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank chairman murtha, ranking member young for their and their staff's hard work on bringing this bill to the floor. as well as for offering an amendment to strike the funding for continued procurement of f-2 aircraft. i'd like -- f-22 aircraft. i'd like to thank president obama for not paying $369 million to add dozens of aircraft when we already have a functions flee of 127 f-22's currently operated by the armed forces. this victory is an important first step in eliminating cold war weapon system and questioning security systems that are inadequate defense against the 21st century national security threats we face. and an important step in moving towards balancing the budget and fiscal responsibility. i also strongly support
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provisions in the legislation that prohibit the establishment of permanent bases in iraq and afghanistan, require the secretary of defense to provide goals and a timeline for withdrawing our troops from iraq, and restate the united states' commitment to prohibiting torture of detainees currently held in u.s. custody. this is just the beginning of president obama's efforts to bring our troops home safely, and i look forward to the time when stop loss and troop surges are a thing of the past. although i strongly support withdrawing our troops from both iraq and afghanistan as soon as possible, until we do so, i believe it's crucial to provide support to our service men and women in harm's way and those returning home to their families. this legislation also provides $29.9 billion to guarantee that our troops have the best medical care made available to them. included in the defense appropriations over $2 billion for funding medical research and treatment for diseases, ovarian cancer research and spinal chord injuries, research with applications have a much wider implications outside of
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defense. the defense appropriation also funds important technology research, providing funding for research that keeps the united states on the cusp of innovation for important civilian applications. funding for this legislation will advance lithiumion battery technology and energy storage that's a linchpin of making wind and solar viable and cost-effective. installing photo-voltaic panel on our military installations will make sure they can quickly access the infrastructure of the modern world. and it has the effect of reducing costs to americans of reducing cost in their home. this provides a robust small business funding. it provides high wage employment and bolesering local economies. these innovations also have direct civilian applications. many of the technologies we enjoy in our daily lives stem
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like global positioning systems to microwave ovens, we take for granted they've been developed and researched as part of a d.o.d. effort. mr. speaker, this bill provides critical funding for our national defense as well as funding for civilian activities. among these activities are those in support of small business and work force development. in colorado, many small businesses rely on the sbir program, the department of defense such aztec ex which provides critical software innovations that the department of defense will provide high-paying jobs for my constituents. and also the center for space entrepreneurship, between the educational institutions, the colorado office of economic development and is the leadership efforts of our lieutenant governor, barbara o'brien. this program incubates small businesses. it also helps individuals transition into careers in this industry. among the most important work is the outreach they do in schools to ensure that the next generation has an interest in and the skills to ensure that
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our nation remains the world leader in space industry. the satellites and spacecrafts developed and manufactured by colorado's thriving aerospace energy is not only of tremendous economic benefit to our state, which is one of seven reasons we have the unemployment rate before the national average, but it keeps our nation safe. and many provides the dish television, g.p.s. service for our cars and reception for our cellular phones. while h.r. 3326 provides top of the line equipment and technologies for our troops, these dollars would be hollow without the bravery, dedication and skill the men and women who serve us every day in our armed forces. and their service wouldn't be possible if it weren't for the support, dedication and sacrifice of military families that receive support from this bill. mr. speaker, in a moment i'll be offering an amendment to the rule. i want to briefly explain the amendment. this amendment will add to the rule as a technical provision that's included as boiler plate language for appropriating and authorizing legislation.
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this language protects amendments from a division of the question. i urge all members to vote yes on the amendment, the rule and the previous question. mr. speaker, i have an amendment to the rule at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. polis of colorado. at the end of the resolution add the following -- section 5. that amendments specified in the first section of this resolution shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time and move the previous question on the amendment and on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on ordering the previous question on the amendment and the resolution. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. dreier: mr. speaker.
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